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You never get what you need out of a college or university. They have curriculums to teach. It basically means you get indoctrination on generalized areas not in dept teaching which for what you pay it raises questions. Thank you for well written books and a desire to read.
I'm halfway tempted to write my engineering college and demand a full refund considering this book wasn't required reading. This is a must have for anyone in an engineering field(or any STEM field for that matter). The book is written so well. Hamming somewhat apologizes for the first person references in the intro, I would argue this is the best part. His anecdotes about how he learned a particular lesson were not only engaging to read, but clearly defined the message. It almost felt like I was having coffee with this guy and he was telling old war stories. Seriously one of the most unique science books I've ever read.
The more technical chapters on error coding and filters were the real reason I purchased the book, as I had been doing some ECC implementations and was looking to really see how this was "discovered". These chapters (while brillant) were actually not the parts I enjoyed the most. The chapters on simulation actually had me screaming "YES!" when he describes reliance on simulation as a mistake, and that simulation only closely approximates reality. His insistence that while fast simulations are great, time between the simulations can be just as important, and that a true scientist should be thinking about the results before the results are calculated. These thought simulations allow the scientist/engineer to start thinking about the problem and what the simulation doesn't account for. It was quite refreshing to hear this.
Ever since reading this book, I've started purchasing a copy for anyone who works under me. Understanding the math behind the problems isn't required. It's nice, to understand it, but certainly not the value you should receive out of this.
Again, I honestly am floored that this wasn't required reading where I attended college. It's possible that someone in college would not be able to appreciate it, but after being in my career for 8 years, it is truly the most interesting and engaging STEM book I have read.
While the book was written in 1994 and makes predictions about what computer science might look like in 2020, that isn't the point of the book. This is a great work by someone who got into the computing game in the 1940's right when things were starting to take off. The author's name should be familiar to you (aka the Hamming code) which adds a nice cachet of credibility.
Hamming takes you through a fun history of computers and the art of computer programming but also with a larger point: trying to get you to think great thoughts. There are lots of wonderful insights in this book about management, corporate culture, scientific style and thinking about the future. The book is a beautifully made hardback priced like a softback -- a terrific value, and a thought provoking and inspiring read.
I came by Richard Hamming via a footnote on an essay on learning what it takes to become better at handling information. With my curiosity piqued, I decided to purchase this new edition, and I'm glad I did.
I'm nearly two-thirds through it, and I've already jotted down several notes on passages where Professor Hamming goes into detail on communicating ideas better, coding, learning, and mathematics. His chapter on Claude Shannon's Information (Communication) Theory is worth the price of the book alone.
I realise this book is not groundbreaking, but I've enjoyed his thought process as it differs from many similar books where it leaves me to reflect on things I was taking for granted in my thinking. And any book that's a cause for reflection on one's thoughts is a worthy exercise if it means overall better progress for oneself.
This book is perfectly written like a college lecture, and even describes itself as so.
Like any good college lecture, there's an adequate amount of rambling and anecdotes, interspersed with sporadic great ideas for those able to muster energy to stagger forward and stay awake. This has made it a difficult work to struggle through as a book to read before bedtime. It really brought me back to the physics classes of my college days, praying the professor could locate and make a point in any thirty minute stretch and then painfully trying to understand the connections of stray thoughts to the equations which seemed to come out of thin air.
I was hoping for something more cohesive, but Hamming's undoubtable brilliance makes this an interesting read for those willing to cope with the style. Be ready for fascinating stories about computing history, predictions for the future, and different ways of thinking about things from a great mind.
First, I'll say that this book is beautifully laid out, printed, and bound. It feels like a classic.
As the brag sheet suggests, this is a mixture of technical content and musings on the practice of engineering. Unfortunately, it doesn't manage to do well at either one. The technical content is incomplete -- proofs of theorems that are never stated, use of terms without definitions, and the mathematician's usual waving-off of the difficult bits with words like "obviously". If you're familiar with the topic, this will help you remember some of the details ("ah, yes, I remember Gibbs' inequality"). If you are not familiar, this will be an exercise in frustration as you find yourself unable to fill in the details Hamming has omitted, and you will skip to the end of the chapter for the "pearls of wisdom".
..which also leave much to be desired. These are platitudes like "always understand the fundamentals" or "sometimes changes like faster computation introduce new possibilities, but sometimes not". These aren't untrue and may be useful starting points for beginning engineers to structure their own understanding of the field, but they are presented without much elaboration or depth. For example, what are some characteristics of an incremental change that might uncover new possibilities? On that, Hamming is silent.
I've had the 1997 edition - paperback, Gordon and Breach Science publishers - for many years and it is among my favorites. Richard Hamming was an excellent writer - and this book is one of his best (I also very much like his "Methods of Mathematics" and "Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers".
Anyway - without going at all into why this book is so good (for that i refer you to the reviews of the 1st edition at https://www.amazon.com/Art-Doing-Science-Engineering-Learning/dp/9056995006 ) I wanted to say this new hardback edition is just a beautiful book. Very high quality production. I'm very glad to have it.
While the author is clearly a genius and a pioneer in computing, this book reads like a monologue about the author and his self-described “greatness”
The number of times Hamming mentions his work at Bell Laboratories gets irritating a couple chapters in.
The title “learning to learn” is clickbait. Nowhere is that seriously discussed. If you buy this book, prepare to hear the author use the word “I” a million times and make you feel dumb by littering pages with unexplained math that “everyone obviously knows”
This book feels like a 398 page brag that concepts in computing are named after him.
An absolute missed opportunity to cover the wonders of math, physics, and the evolution of computing.
This is a book about Richard Hamming, not the art of doing science & engineering.